Personal, Social and Humanities Education Key Learning Area
Curriculum and Assessment Guide (Secondary 4 - 6)
Jointly prepared by the Curriculum Development Council and The Hong Kong Examinations and Assessment Authority
Recommended for use in schools by the Education Bureau HKSARG
2007 (with updates in January 2014)
Chapter 1 Introduction 1
1.1 Background 1
1.2 Rationale 1
1.3 Curriculum Aims 2
1.4 Curriculum Objectives 2
1.5 Broad Learning Outcomes 3
1.6 Interface with Junior Secondary Education and Post-secondary Pathways
Chapter 2 Curriculum Framework 7
2.1 Design Principles 7
2.2 Curriculum Structure and Organisation 8
2.2.1 Compulsory Part 8
2.2.2 Elective Part 14
2.2.3 Time allocation 16
Chapter 3 Curriculum Planning 17
3.1 Guiding Principles 17
3.2 Progression 18
3.3 Curriculum Planning Strategies 19
3.3.1 Making learning more meaningful 19
3.3.2 Catering for learner diversity 19
3.3.3 Developing a learning culture 20
3.3.4 Cross-curricular planning 20
3.3.5 Integrating learning with assessment 21
3.4 Managing the Curriculum 21
3.4.1 Areas of work 21
3.4.2 Roles of different stakeholders 23
Chapter 4 Learning and Teaching 25
4.1 Knowledge and Learning 25
4.2 Guiding Principles 25
4.3 Approaches and Strategies 27
4.3.1 Adopting a variety of strategies in learning history 27
4.3.2 Choosing appropriate strategies 30
4.3.3 Effective questioning 34
4.3.4 Designing appropriate course assignments 34
4.3.5 Catering for learning differences 35
4.4 Classroom Interaction 37
4.4.1 Interaction 37
4.4.2 Scaffolding 37
4.4.3 Feedback and teacher debriefing 38
4.5 Learning Community 38
Chapter 5 Assessment 41
5.1 The Roles of Assessment 41
5.2 Formative and Summative Assessment 41
5.3 Assessment Objectives 43
5.4 Internal Assessment 44
5.4.1 Guiding principles 44
5.4.2 Internal assessment practices 46
5.5 Public Assessment 49
5.5.1 Guiding principles 49
5.5.2 Assessment design 50
5.5.3 Public examinations 51
5.5.4 School-based Assessment (SBA) 52
5.5.5 Standards and reporting of results 53
Chapter 6 Learning and Teaching Resources 57
6.1 Function of Learning and Teaching Resources 57
6.2 Guiding Principles 57
6.3 Commonly Used Resources 58
6.3.1 Textbooks 58
6.3.2 Source materials 59
6.3.3 Technology and web-based resources 59
6.3.4 Audio-visual aids 60
6.3.5 Community resources 60
6.4 Flexible Use of Learning and Teaching Resources 61
6.4.1 Fitness for purpose 61
6.4.2 Fitness for learners 61
6.5 Resource Management 62
6.5.1 Sharing of learning and teaching resources 62
6.5.2 Resource management in schools 62
1 Curriculum Framework and Assessment 65
2 Teaching “The Making of the Modern World” using a direct instruction approach
66 3 Using an enquiry approach in teaching “International economic
67 4 Group discussion: “Do you think that the international order
created after the Second World War was a new international order?”
5 Using interactive activities in teaching “Modernisation of China”
69 6 A sample of a student’s checklist on conducting a historical
70 7 Making use of community resources in teaching “The
co-existence and interaction of Chinese and foreign cultures”
72 8 Conflicts between Israel and the Arabs – from simple to
73 9 A teacher’s scaffolding when teaching difficult concepts
Discussion: “Were the reform measures carried out by Mao and Deng pragmatic or idealistic?”
Membership of the CDC-HKEAA Committee on History (Senior Secondary)
The Education and Manpower Bureau (EMB, now renamed Education Bureau (EDB)) stated in its report1 in 2005 that the implementation of a three-year senior secondary academic structure would commence at Secondary 4 in September 2009. The senior secondary academic structure is supported by a flexible, coherent and diversified senior secondary curriculum aimed at catering for students' varied interests, needs and abilities. This Curriculum and Assessment (C&A) Guide is one of the series of documents prepared for the senior secondary curriculum. It is based on the goals of senior secondary education and on other official documents related to the curriculum and assessment reform since 2000, including the Basic Education Curriculum Guide (2002) and the Senior Secondary Curriculum Guide (2007). To gain a full understanding of the connection between education at the senior secondary level and the basic education level, and how effective learning, teaching and assessment can be achieved, it is strongly recommended that reference should be made to all related documents.
This C&A Guide is designed to provide the rationale and aims of the subject curriculum, followed by chapters on the curriculum framework, curriculum planning, pedagogy, assessment and use of learning and teaching resources. One key concept underlying the senior secondary curriculum is that curriculum, pedagogy and assessment should be well aligned. While learning and teaching strategies form an integral part of the curriculum and are conducive to promoting learning to learn and whole-person development, assessment should also be recognised not only as a means to gauge performance but also to improve learning. To understand the interplay between these three key components, all chapters in the C&A Guide should be read in a holistic manner.
The C&A Guide is jointly prepared by the Curriculum Development Council (CDC) and the Hong Kong Examinations and Assessment Authority (HKEAA). The CDC is an advisory body that gives recommendations to the HKSAR Government on all matters relating to curriculum development for the school system from kindergarten to senior secondary level.
Its membership includes heads of schools, practising teachers, parents, employers, academics from tertiary institutions, professionals from related fields/bodies, representatives from the HKEAA and the Vocational Training Council (VTC), as well as officers from the EDB. The HKEAA is an independent statutory body responsible for the conduct of public assessment, including the assessment for the Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education (HKDSE). Its governing council includes members drawn from the school sector, tertiary institutions and
1 The report is The New Academic Structure for Senior Secondary Education and Higher Education – Action Plan for Investing in the Future of Hong Kong.
government bodies, as well as professionals and members of the business community.
The C&A Guide is recommended by the EDB for use in secondary schools. The subject curriculum forms the basis of the assessment designed and administered by the HKEAA. In this connection, the HKEAA will issue a handbook to provide information on the rules and regulations of the HKDSE examination as well as the structure and format of public assessment for each subject.
The CDC and HKEAA will keep the subject curriculum under constant review and evaluation in the light of classroom experiences, students’ performance in the public assessment, and the changing needs of students and society. All comments and suggestions on this C&A Guide may be sent to:
Chief Curriculum Development Officer (Personal, Social & Humanities Education) Curriculum Development Institute
Education Bureau 13/F, Wu Chung House 213 Queen’s Road East Wanchai, Hong Kong Fax: 2573 5299
ApL Applied Learning
C&A Curriculum and Assessment CDC Curriculum Development Council
EDB Education Bureau
EMB Education and Manpower Bureau
HKALE Hong Kong Advanced Level Examination
HKCEE Hong Kong Certificate of Education Examination HKDSE Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education
HKEAA Hong Kong Examinations and Assessment Authority HKSAR Hong Kong Special Administrative Region
KLA Key Learning Area
PSHE Personal, Social and Humanities Education S1/2/3/4/5/6/7 Secondary 1/2/3/4/5/6/7
SBA School-based Assessment
SRR Standards-referenced Reporting
SS Senior Secondary
SSCG Senior Secondary Curriculum Guide VTC Vocational Training Council
Chapter 1 Introduction
This chapter provides the background, rationale and aims of History as an elective subject in the three-year senior secondary curriculum, and highlights how it articulates with the junior secondary curriculum, post-secondary education, and future career pathways.
The senior secondary History curriculum framework was formulated alongside The New Academic Structure for Senior Secondary Education and Higher Education — Action Plan for Investing in the Future of Hong Kong (EMB, 2005) and the Senior Secondary Curriculum Guide (CDC, 2007). These two documents provide the overall direction for the development of senior secondary education in Hong Kong. They stipulated a combination of core and elective subjects, Applied Learning courses and other learning experiences to suit individual interests and aptitudes.
History is one of the six elective subjects in the Personal, Social and Humanities Education Key Learning Area (PSHE KLA). The study of history helps students to understand the human world through enquiring into its roots in the past. It contributes towards the development of all the generic skills involved in the study of humanities subjects, such as critical thinking and enquiry, and aims to promote the essential skills of historical investigation during the three years of study.
This new curriculum has evolved from the S4-5 History curriculum (implemented in 2004). It follows the general directions set out in the Personal, Social and Humanities Education Key Learning Area Curriculum Guide (Primary 1–Secondary 3) (CDC, 2002) and extends the knowledge, skills and values and attitudes learners develop through the PSHE curriculum for basic education. While the Compulsory Part of the three-year History curriculum incorporates the two main themes of the 2004 curriculum, an Elective Part has been added to provide flexibility in preparing students for further education and for employment.
The study of history helps to develop a global perspective and an enhanced understanding of the processes of interaction, diversification and rapid change in today’s world. Upon completion of this course, students should have mastered higher-order thinking skills, such as historical interpretation and analysis that will enable them to appreciate where they stand in the long flow of human history.
The topics covered in the History curriculum are of general historical significance, appropriate for illustrating the basic terminology and concepts of history, relevant to the daily
experiences of students, and conducive to mastering the skills of historical study. They are also likely to arouse interest in students studying the subject. Students will be provided with an opportunity to pursue a study that transcends the temporal, cultural and political boundaries of our world.
This curriculum takes the stand that there are some fundamental values and attitudes commonly held in our community and across other societies, such as regard for human life and dignity and the quest for peace, cooperation and prosperity. It tries to provide students with learning experiences to develop these values and attitudes, and at the same time encourages teachers to introduce different perspectives through class discussion and to remind students to review and reflect on their viewpoints to arrive at balanced judgments.
Upon completion of this course, students should have cultivated the values and attitudes that are the attributes of a responsible citizen.
Being one of the six elective subjects in PSHE KLA, this curriculum will develop students’
potential for further studies in the humanities, social sciences or perhaps business management. Training in History is also very useful for professions that require critical and independent thinking.
1.3 Curriculum Aims
The aims of this curriculum are to enable students to:
(a) discover where they stand in the contemporary world through understanding the origins and development of modern events;
(b) develop the skills of critical thinking, making sound judgments and effective communication through exploring historical issues;
(c) approach past and current events in an impartial and empathetic manner, using a variety of perspectives;
(d) understand the characteristics and values of their own culture, and appreciate the shared humanity and common problems of the world’s many peoples;
(e) cultivate both national consciousness and the consciousness of being citizens of the global community, and thus become rational and sensible members of the local community, the nation and the world; and
(f) be prepared to explore in greater depth an issue of personal interest, or one that may be of relevance to their future careers and professional studies.
1.4 Curriculum Objectives
Students are expected to acquire knowledge and develop understanding of:
(a) basic historical concepts, such as cause and effect, change and continuity, and
similarities and differences;
(b) diverse standpoints and perspectives inherent in different ways of representing and interpreting the past;
(c) the beliefs, experiences and behaviours of their own nation as well as of other nations, and the ways in which they have shaped the development of the contemporary world;
(d) the inter-relations of major events and movements that have occurred in the local community, the nation, Asia and the world in the 20th century; and
(e) the major historical developments and trends that have shaped the contemporary world.
Students are expected to master skills which will enable them to:
(a) distinguish fact from opinion; detect biased viewpoints, ambiguous assumptions and unsubstantiated arguments; and build up proper historical perspectives;
(b) compare and interpret historical data; arrive at reasoned conclusions based on available evidence; and recognise the fact that history is subject to reassessment based on the interpretation of new evidence ;
(c) ascertain and explain the extent to which historical documents and archives reflect contemporary attitudes, values and passions;
(d) present logical and coherent arguments through the proper selection and organisation of historical data;
(e) search for, select, analyse and synthesise information through various means, including the Internet, and consider various ways of arriving at conclusions and making appraisals;
(f) apply historical knowledge and skills in everyday life.
Students are expected to cultivate positive values and attitudes that will enable them to:
(a) appreciate the difficulties and challenges that humankind faced in the past, and to understand the attitudes and values that influence human behaviour;
(b) tolerate and respect different opinions, and to recognise the fact that although different communities have different experiences and beliefs, there are values and ideals that are commonly shared by all humankind;
(c) develop and maintain an inquisitive attitude towards human culture; and
(d) become responsible citizens with a sense of national identity and a global perspective.
1.5 Broad Learning Outcomes
By the end of the course, students should be capable of demonstrating the following:
(a) An ability to understand the broad sweep of local, national, regional and world history in the 20th century. They should also be able to delineate the major trends and patterns of development in the period under study and to make vertical (i.e. temporal) and
horizontal (i.e. spatial) links between major events through employing such historical concepts as cause and effect, change and continuity, and similarities and differences in time and space.
(b) An ability to reconstruct the chronology of major events with reference to the two designated themes of “Modernisation and Transformation in Twentieth-century Asia”
and “Conflicts and Cooperation in the Twentieth-century World”. They should be able to reflect on the development of a major event from beginning to end, or trace the origins of a current problem/issue and its development over time, and present their arguments in a coherent way.
(c) An ability to interpret major happenings in the 20th century through the concept of change and continuity and to demonstrate how the interaction of these two forces promotes or obstructs change. They are also expected to demonstrate an understanding of different kinds of change in history (e.g. planned versus spontaneous change, slow versus rapid change, violent versus peaceful change, etc.) and critically evaluate their outcomes.
(d) An ability to see the past from the standpoint of the people under study rather than through the lens of present-day norms and values, and be able to form their own judgments.
(e) An ability to use historical sources, accounts and arguments to analyse the cause-and-effect relationship between events that made up the history of the 20th century, taking into account the role played by individuals, the influence of ideas and beliefs, and the factor of chance.
(f) An ability to analyse different interpretations of major happenings in the 20th century so as to detect the biases underpinning different interpretations, and, on such a basis, to synthesise and make valid historical judgments.
(g) An ability to demonstrate independent judgment in following different lines of enquiry.
They are also expected to show familiarity with basic research skills, such as utilising information technologies, making use of bibliographies and book reviews to identify useful sources of information, and cross-checking information in order to determine its authenticity and credibility.
(h) An ability to draw sound and substantiated conclusions and to communicate their research findings to others effectively.
(i) An ability to apply historical knowledge and skills in everyday life.
(j) An ability to demonstrate an appreciation of the efforts made by individuals or groups to promote peace and cooperation, or to improve human conditions anywhere in the world.
(k) An ability to demonstrate not only an appreciation of the virtues of their own culture, but also tolerance of and respect for other cultures.
1.6 Interface with Junior Secondary Education and Post-secondary Pathways
The study of history at senior secondary level is based upon knowledge of history that students should have acquired at junior secondary level. The S1–3 History curriculum provides students with the knowledge of a broad range of human experiences stretching from ancient times to modern times. Students taking other related PSHE curricula such as
“Integrated Humanities” and “History and Culture” at junior secondary level should also have acquired an understanding of the patterns of development in significant historical periods of national and world history.
The study of history at senior secondary level also builds on the skills of chronological thinking, historical comprehension, empathy, enquiry, critical thinking and communication that students should have developed at junior secondary level. They should have mastered the ways of constructing a sequence of major historical events, elucidating the relationship between events and people, as well as making logical inferences about cause and effect.
The senior secondary curriculum enables the students to further develop an enquiring mind, an attitude of respect for and tolerance of different opinions, and a sense of balanced judgment and objectivity, which should have been cultivated through the study of history or other related PSHE curricula at junior secondary level.
The study of history in senior secondary schools also provides prospective university students with a sound conceptual framework and knowledge of the 20th century world, as well as the skills needed for studying subjects of personal interest to them in the fields of humanities, social sciences or business management. They will also be able to enrol in courses that demand research skills, such as in the fields of heritage studies, archaeology and anthropology in their university studies. In addition, students who have completed a task of historical investigation in the Elective Part of the History curriculum will be well equipped with skills such as critical and independent thinking, which are required of people who work as analysts or journalists.
Chapter 2 Curriculum Framework
The curriculum framework for History embodies the key knowledge, skills, values and attitudes that students are to develop at senior secondary level. It forms the basis on which schools and teachers plan their school-based curriculum and design appropriate learning, teaching and assessment activities.
2.1 Design Principles
The design of this curriculum is based on principles which are derived from those recommended in Chapter 3 of The New Academic Structure for Senior Secondary Education and Higher Education — Action Plan for Investing in the Future of Hong Kong (EMB, 2005), namely that this curriculum should:
(a) build on the knowledge, skills, values and attitudes, and the learning experience that students have acquired and developed in their study of the Personal, Social and Humanities Education (PSHE) Curriculum in basic education and the junior secondary History curriculum;
(b) achieve a balance between breadth and depth in the study of history, in order to prepare students for further studies and entry into the workforce, and to foster whole-person development;
(c) achieve a balance between the acquisition of theoretical knowledge ( i.e., the learning of historical concepts and issues ) and its application to real-life situations, as the learning of history is meaningful only when it is linked to people’s daily experience and helps them to gain some insights into the future;
(d) provide a flexible and diversified framework capable of catering for diversity in students’ abilities, needs and interests, including the opportunity to explore a historical topic of their own choice through a particular approach to the study of history;
(e) help students to develop independent and life-long learning skills through promoting student-centred enquiry; and
(f) ensure that assessment is closely aligned with learning.
The curriculum is designed along the following lines in particular:
(g) It focuses on the major developments in the 20th century. The study of 20th century history has immediate relevance to students’ daily lives, and provides greater incentives
for students to pursue their own enquiries.
(h) It uses a thematic approach in its organisation. The themes in this curriculum provide students with the opportunities to acquire an understanding of 20th century history in the broad political, social, economic and cultural context, with the ultimate goal of developing their global perspective. This enables them to understand themselves, society and the world at large. It ensures a more thorough coverage of the world and yet strikes a balance between the breadth and depth of studies to allow for students’
development of critical thinking skills and enquiry learning.
2.2 Curriculum Structure and Organisation
2.2.1 Compulsory Part
Introduction: The Making of the Modern World
Key Points Explanatory Notes
(i) The foundations of Western supremacy (ii) Western expansion and the
formation of colonial empires (iii) Asia’s reactions to Western
(iv) Towards international cooperation
Students will understand generally the ways in which scientific and technological advancement, intellectual development and political revolutions laid the foundations of Western supremacy. They will explain how such foundations led to the geographical and economic expansion of Western countries from the 16th century, and to the formation of colonial empires in the 19th century.
Students will then describe the impact of colonialism and the responses of Asian peoples to Western encroachment and domination, which provided the historical background to the modernisation and transformation of Asia in the 20th century. Also, through examining the relationships among the major Western powers, especially the sources of international rivalries and the attempts at negotiation and cooperation in the 19th century, students will be in a better position to understand the unfolding of conflicts and cooperation in the 20th century world.
Modernisation and Transformation in Twentieth-Century Asia
Students will understand the concept of “modernisation”, and acquire an overview of the ways in which Hong Kong, China, Japan and Southeast Asia underwent modernisation in the 20th century.
(1) Modernisation and transformation of Hong Kong
Key Points Explanatory Notes
(i) Political and institutional changes
main trends of development
characteristics of different stages of development
Through enquiring into the major political and institutional changes that occurred in Hong Kong from the beginning of the 20th century to 1997, students will identify the main trends of political development, as well as different stages of development and their salient features.
(ii) Development as an international city
economic development, urbanisation and population changes
the coexistence and interaction of Chinese and foreign cultures
relationship with the mainland and its role in the Asia-Pacific Rim
Through investigating the long-term process of economic and social changes in Hong Kong, students will trace and explain the development of Hong Kong as an international city. They will describe the salient features of different stages of economic development, as well as the phenomena of urbanisation and population changes. They will also cite examples to illustrate the coexistence and interaction of Chinese and foreign cultures, and develop an awareness of the characteristics of their own culture. They will also analyse Hong Kong’s links with the mainland and its role in the Asia-Pacific Rim in different periods.
(2) Modernisation and transformation of China
Key Points Explanatory Notes
(i) Early attempts at
modernisation – reforms and revolutions
Late Qing Reform
the 1911 Revolution
the May Fourth Movement
attempts at modernisation by the Nanjing government
the communist revolution and the establishment of the PRC
Students will identify the major reforms launched by the late Qing government and by the Nanjing government, and assess their significance for the modernisation of China. They will assess the significance of the 1911 Revolution and the May Fourth Movement in the light of China’s transformation into a modern nation. Students will also demonstrate a general understanding of the major political developments in China leading to the formation of the PRC.
(ii) Socialist modernisation in the Maoist period and the evolution of “socialism with Chinese characteristics” in the post-Mao period
the institutional set-up and the transition from New Democracy to socialism
attempts at modernisation in the Maoist period
the “Cultural Revolution”
and its impact on Chinese modernisation
reform and opening-up since 1978
Students will describe the institutional set-up of the country and the relationships between the party, government and military. Students will also describe and assess the major attempts at modernisation in the Maoist period, namely the First Five-Year Plan, the “Great Leap Forward”
and Readjustment. The “Cultural Revolution” will be evaluated in the light of its impact on China’s modernisation. As regards the period after 1978, students will trace the origins and development of
“socialism with Chinese characteristics” and the rise of regional economies, and analyse the ways in which these developments have affected China’s modernisation and its relations with other Asian countries.
(3) Modernisation and transformation of Japan and Southeast Asia
Key Points Explanatory Notes
modernisation in the early 20th century
overview of political, social, economic and cultural conditions in the early 20th century
the rise of militarism and its consequences
Students will assess the extent to which Japan was modernised in the early 20th century in the light of the contemporary political, social, economic and cultural conditions. They will analyse the ways in which such conditions led to the rise of militarism, and assess its consequences for Japan and Asia.
reconstruction and growth after WWII
relations with other Asian countries
Students will trace and explain Japan’s economic recovery and growth as well as political and social developments in the post-World War II period.
They will also cite examples to illustrate both change and continuity in Japan’s political, economic and cultural relations with other Asian countries.
(ii) Southeast Asia: from colonies to independent countries
legacy of Western colonialism
reasons for decolonisation and struggles for
post-colonial developments and the evolution of ASEAN
Students will describe the general situation in Southeast Asia in the first half of the 20th century, focusing on the impact of Western colonisation of the region. They will analyse the reasons leading to the decolonisation of Southeast Asian countries, delineate the major patterns of independence movements through examining the different methods employed to achieve independence, and examine the main features of post-colonial developments. They will also cite the evolution of ASEAN to illustrate the trend towards regional cooperation, relating it to the broad trend of global cooperation.
Conflicts and Cooperation in the Twentieth-Century World
(4) Major conflicts and the quest for peace
Key Points Explanatory Notes
(i) International relations from 1900 to 1914
Europe at the beginning of the 20th century – sources of rivalries and conflicts;
attempts at making peace
Students will acquire a general understanding of the relationships among the major European powers at the beginning of the 20th century. They will analyse the sources of international rivalries and conflicts, and describe the early attempts at avoiding war.
Students will also describe briefly how World War I broke out in 1914.
(ii) The two world wars and the peace settlements
impact of the Paris Peace Conference on the international order
post- World War II
settlements and their impact
political, social, economic and cultural significance of the two world wars
Through enquiring into the impact of the Paris Peace Conference, students will explain the cause-and-effect relationship between the two world wars. They will cite various attempts to establish collective security in the inter-war period and relate the results to the outbreak of World War II. Through examining the settlements that ended World War II, students will show the ways in which, and the extent to which, a new international order was established. The historical significance of the two world wars will be assessed from the political, social, economic and cultural perspectives. Students will develop an awareness of both the short-term and long-term consequences of these global conflicts.
(iii)Major conflicts after WWII and attempts to make peace
(a) superpower rivalries and détente
origins, development and characteristics of the Cold War
détente between the USA and USSR
collapse of the USSR and the Warsaw Pact
Through tracing the origins and development of the Cold War up to 1991, students will identify its key features and explain the gradual relaxation of tensions between the USA and USSR. They will also identify the cause-and-effect relationships between the major events that led to the collapse of the USSR and the Warsaw Pact.
Key Points Explanatory Notes (b) other major conflicts and
attempts at making peace
causes and development of conflicts between Israel and the Arabs;
racial conflicts in the Balkans; apartheid in South Africa
the role of the United Nations in peace-making efforts
Students will explain the causes of conflicts between Israel and the Arabs, racial conflicts in the Balkans and apartheid in South Africa. They should be able to describe the development of these conflicts in the second half of the 20th century. They will also assess the role that the United Nations played in settling them.
(5) The quest for cooperation and prosperity
Key Points Explanatory Notes
(i) International economic cooperation
attempts at reconstruction, economic cooperation and integration in Europe after World War II
post-war economic problems and recovery
the roles played by the USA and USSR in Europe’s economic reconstruction and development
towards economic integration in Europe and its significance
Students will identify the economic problems and the efforts made to achieve economic recovery in Europe after the end of World War II. ,They will examine the roles played by the USA and USSR in the economic reconstruction and development of Europe, analyse the political and economic considerations behind their decisions, and assess the effectiveness and impact of their policies.
Students will also trace the process of economic integration in Europe, and assess its significance for Europe and the world at large.
(ii) International social and cultural cooperation
population and resources;
medicine and science and technology
achievements and limitations
Students will cite examples to illustrate the major attempts made to achieve international cooperation in the areas of population and resources, environmental protection, as well as medicine and science and technology. In critically analysing the achievements and limitations of these attempts, students will acquire an awareness of the divergent and even conflicting interests underlying each main
Key Points Explanatory Notes
issue. They will also assess the extent to which the international community is capable of resolving recurring global dilemmas.
2.2.2 Elective Part
This part of the curriculum provides opportunities for students to specialise in an aspect of 20th century history that they deem most relevant to their needs, interests and ability level. It consists of three electives, each of which represents a different approach to the study of history and aims to develop one particular category of concepts and/or skills. Students are required to choose ONE of the following electives:
Explanatory Notes Examples of Topics
1. Comparative studies
This elective helps to draw attention to related historical phenomena in different places at particular points in time, or to change and continuity in the history of a particular place over the long run. While similarities between historical settings will be highlighted in order to promote better understanding of broad trends and patterns of development, students will also be encouraged to enquire into the uniqueness of specific historical settings.
- Impact of the Cold War - Totalitarian states
- Development of Hong Kong and Shanghai as international cities - Theory and practice of communism
in the USSR and China
- US policies towards the PRC in different periods of time
- China’s population problems and policies at different times in the 20th century
2. Issue-based studies
This elective enhances critical thinking and promotes an awareness of important communal and global issues. Students will explore a historical issue, and are expected to investigate its origins and development, analyse the controversies underlying the issue, and make reasoned judgments.
- “Cultural imperialism”
- Popular culture
- Japan’s political, economic and cultural influence in Asia - Nuclear proliferation
- Global environmental challenges - Poverty in the developing world - The struggle for gender equality 3. Local heritage studies
This elective prepares students for employment in heritage-related industries and organisations, or for further studies in the fields of culture,
- Traditional culture and conservation (e.g. Cantonese opera, traditional customs and festivals, monuments
Explanatory Notes Examples of Topics heritage and museum management. Students
will decide on a topic relating to the history of the local community and/or heritage, and conduct an investigation by using various approaches or methodologies that they have learnt in the course.
and historical buildings)
- Business and trade (e.g. local brand names and trade marks, and the history of one selected industry or trade)
2.2.3 Time allocation
The total time allocation for the senior secondary History curriculum will be approximately 250 hours of lesson time. The Compulsory Part will take up approximately 210 hours, and the Elective Part approximately 40 hours.
Suggested time allocation for the Compulsory Part: approximately 210 hours.
Introduction: The Making of the Modern World 10 hours
Theme A: Modernisation and Transformation in Twentieth-Century Asia 100 hours (1) Modernisation and transformation of Hong Kong 30 hours (2) Modernisation and transformation of China 40 hours (3) Modernisation and transformation of Japan and Southeast Asia 30 hours Theme B: Conflicts and Cooperation in the Twentieth-Century World 100 hours
(4) Major conflicts and the quest for peace 60 hours (5) The quest for cooperation and prosperity 40 hours Suggested time allocation for the Elective Part: approximately 40 hours
(Any ONE of the following electives)
40 hours 1. Comparative studies
2. Issue-based studies 3. Local heritage studies
250 hours Remarks:
The lesson time for Liberal Studies and each elective subject is 250 hours (or 10% of the total allocation time) for planning purpose, and schools have the flexibility to allocate lesson time at their discretion in order to enhance learning and teaching effectiveness and cater for students’ needs.
“250 hours” is the planning parameter for each elective subject to meet local curriculum needs as well as requirements of international benchmarking. In view of the need to cater for schools with students of various abilities and interests, particularly the lower achievers, “270 hours” was recommended to facilitate schools’
planning at the initial stage and to provide more time for teachers to attempt various teaching methods for the NSS curriculum. Based on the calculation of each elective subject taking up 10% of the total allocation time, 2500 hours is the basis for planning the 3-year senior secondary curriculum. This concurs with the reality check and feedback collected from schools in the short-term review, and a flexible range of 2400±200 hours is recommended to further cater for school and learner diversity.
As always, the amount of time spent in learning and teaching is governed by a variety of factors, including whole-school curriculum planning, learners’ abilities and needs, students’ prior knowledge, teaching and assessment strategies, teaching styles and the number of subjects offered. Schools should exercise professional judgement and flexibility over time allocation to achieve specific curriculum aims and objectives as well as to suit students' specific needs and the school context.
Chapter 3 Curriculum Planning
This chapter provides guidelines to help schools and teachers to develop a flexible and balanced curriculum that suits the needs, interests and abilities of their students, and the context of their school, in accordance with the central framework provided in Chapter 2.
3.1 Guiding Principles
To enhance the effectiveness of the learning and teaching of history, teachers are encouraged to consider adopting appropriate curriculum planning strategies to develop a balanced and coherent curriculum that enables students to take an active role in historical enquiry.
The following are some major principles of curriculum planning for teachers’ reference:
(a) The primary considerations teachers need to take into account throughout planning are:
the curriculum rationale, students’ needs, the school context and the characteristics of the discipline of History.
(b) Planning of the first-year programme should be based on what students have learned in basic education because prior knowledge should determine what is to be taught in the first year of the senior secondary education.
(c) The programme should be well structured and organised in order to facilitate the acquisition of historical knowledge, understanding and skills.
(d) In lesson planning, key ideas and concepts should be revisited and reinforced in different historical contexts at different stages of the learning process.
(e) The programme should be coherent in order to enable students to detect the relationships between different facets of the past within a broad chronological framework.
(f) The curriculum plan should provide opportunities for a wide range of learning activities in order to provide sufficient challenge for students of different abilities at senior secondary level.
(g) The curriculum plan should also provide opportunities for the use of a wide range of different historical sources, as well as information technology, to make learning more effective.
(h) The programme should prepare students adequately for further studies of History at the
tertiary level; at the same time, it should also provide a valuable learning experience for those who will leave the subject at the end of their senior secondary education.
In planning the senior secondary History curriculum, it is necessary to take into consideration the experience that students have gained at junior secondary level. The Compulsory Part of the History curriculum comprises two main themes that cover major developments in the 20th century world. As students have already acquired basic knowledge about the development of humankind in their junior secondary studies, they should be in a position to start studying the 20th century history in S4. Furthermore, the Compulsory Part begins with an “Introduction”, which should help to strengthen students’ background knowledge of the major forces that have shaped the modern world.
The curriculum is designed as a three-year programme, but in order to give students an opportunity to explore their interest in history at S4, teachers should provide students with a
“taster” by introducing basic historical concepts such as chronology, cause and effect, and continuity and change in the “Introduction”, so that students will have a glimpse of the essence of the course and its relevance to their own experiences. Students will then acquaint themselves with the use of a thematic approach to study either “Modernisation and Transformation in Twentieth-Century Asia” or “Conflicts and Cooperation in the Twentieth-Century World”. Teachers can use their own judgment to decide whether to start with Theme A (Modernisation and Transformation in Twentieth-Century Asia) or Theme B (Conflicts and Cooperation in the Twentieth-Century World) in S4, while recognising the fact that the study of either Theme will help students to develop the skills of detecting bias, analysing and interpreting historical information, and formulating opinions on historical issues.
By the end of S4, students should be able to present logical and coherent arguments, and to apply basic historical knowledge and skills in everyday life. They will then decide whether to continue studying History, or move to other elective subjects and/or Applied Learning courses. Whatever they choose to do, they will have benefited from studying History at S4.
Those who decide to continue studying History and complete the Compulsory Part of the curriculum can apply the knowledge, concepts and skills that they have acquired to the study of an elective based on their personal interests and / or needs.
Figure 3.1 A Diagrammatic Presentation of Progression of Studies
3.3 Curriculum Planning Strategies
In planning the implementation of the senior secondary History curriculum, schools should take advantage of the flexible nature of the curriculum design and consider adopting the following strategies:
3.3.1 Making learning more meaningful
To make learning more meaningful, it is crucial to connect students’ classroom learning to their life experiences and to help them to apply what they have learned. As the senior secondary History curriculum focuses on the 20th century, it is not difficult to make it relevant to students’ daily lives and thus provides them with an incentive to look into things that interest them. Teachers should illustrate how learning about the past helps one to understand the present and have an insight into the future, thus striking a balance between theoretical and applied learning of the subject. History teachers should draw on as many examples as possible to link the past with the present in their classroom teaching.
3.3.2 Catering for learner diversity
The design of the senior secondary History curriculum ensures that all essential knowledge Junior Secondary Studies
(S1-3 History / Chinese History/ History and Culture / Integrated Humanities, etc.)
S5 and 6 Other academic
S5 and 6
SS History Curriculum:
(Theme A + Theme B + one elective)
S5 and 6 Applied Learning courses S4
SS History Curriculum:
Compulsory Part (Introduction + Theme A/B)
and concepts are embedded in the Compulsory Part, and a thematic approach is adopted in organising the content so that students can understand the broad trends of development without going into too much detail. However, to cater for the needs of those students with higher academic ability, teachers may consider extending the breadth and/or depth of the Compulsory Part. They can, for example, provide more details of particular historical events, which students can then make use of in substantiating their arguments, or draw on a wider range of interpretations of particular historical issues to enhance analytical and critical thinking abilities.
The design of the Elective Part caters for learner diversity. Each elective represents an approach to the study of history, and students may choose the one that best suits their interests and aptitudes, or the one that is most relevant to their further studies and / or the career(s) that they have in mind. Those who wish to acquire further knowledge and understanding of certain periods, events or aspects of 20th century history may opt for
“Comparative studies” or “Issue–based studies”. On the other hand, “Local heritage studies”
provides students with an opportunity to explore an aspect of our local community, and prepares them for employment in heritage-related industries and organisations, or for further studies in the fields of culture, heritage and museum management.
Students differ with respect to the extent of their attention span in class and in their ability to receive and interpret messages. Teachers should employ a range of pedagogical strategies to cater for the differences amongst students. Furthermore, teachers should promote enquiry learning and discussion to stimulate students’ interest in history.
3.3.3 Developing a learning culture
It is important for schools to develop a healthy learning culture. To develop this, teachers should:
value students’ personal interests and individual learning styles;
support students who display initiative;
encourage students to reflect on their own learning process and to understand the factors that help them to make progress;
encourage the use of a variety of resources, ideas, methods and tasks, and help students to link their learning to wider contexts; and
make use of a wide range of learning activities such as visiting museums, galleries and historical sites to foster learning outside the classroom.
3.3.4 Cross-curricular planning
To maximise learning effectiveness, History teachers should consider the potential links of
History with other subjects. Multi-disciplinary perspectives are valuable for the study of many historical issues. On the other hand, in helping students to cultivate a sense of chronology, a global perspective and critical thinking skills, the study of history also prepares students for the study of other academic subjects as well as Applied Learning courses.
Therefore, History teachers may consider designing enquiry projects in conjunction with Geography, Economics or Liberal Studies teachers on such issues as “Population and resources” or “Environmental protection” for the programme of study concerning
“International social and cultural cooperation”. Through providing multi-disciplinary programmes of study, students will learn to appreciate the fact that knowledge transcends the boundaries of academic disciplines. Systematic collaboration between History teachers and teachers of other disciplines will foster greater coherence with respect to learning in Personal, Social and Humanities Education Key Learning Area (PSHE KLA).
3.3.5 Integrating learning with assessment
Assessment should be designed to promote learning. Formative assessment enables teachers to provide students with immediate feedback on their learning and to determine the focus of their future studies. Many skills, especially those involving the empathetic understanding of historical situations, or the process of collecting and analysing evidence for a research project, are better evaluated through formative assessment than by an externally set examination.
For example, the electives in this subject give rise to a number of learning tasks for skills development and knowledge construction that provide the basis for an assessment process in which teachers can monitor their students’ progress and provide feedback to head them in the right direction. (Please refer to Appendix I for a diagrammatic representation of the relationship between the curriculum framework and assessment.)
3.4 Managing the Curriculum
In managing the History curriculum, teachers should take the following considerations into account:
3.4.1 Areas of work
(a) Understanding the curriculum and learning context
Understand the Senior Secondary Curriculum Guide (CDC, 2007) and this Guide with a view to adapting the central curriculum for school-based curriculum development;
Understand the school’s vision and mission, strengths and policies, as well as students’
abilities and interests;
Understand the community culture and the changing needs of society;
Understand the aims, objectives and learning outcomes of the History curriculum and have a shared vision of history education; and
Understand the additional requirements for history educators besides qualifications and experience – dedication, enthusiasm and the ability to work with others.
(b) Planning and implementing the curriculum
Design and implement schemes of work that will enable students to achieve the aims and objectives of the History curriculum;
Design modes of assessment and tasks to promote learning;
Put in place arrangements that best meet students’ needs and enhance their progress and achievements in learning; and
Develop a collaborative learning and teaching culture to promote the effective delivery of the senior secondary History curriculum. Teachers and the school authorities may consider:
- developing an intranet system for teachers to share their work;
- dividing teaching responsibilities at the same level with a view to maximising individual expertise;
- creating a positive learning environment within the school by inviting experts from other institutes, such as the Antiquities and Monument Office or the Hong Kong Museum of History, to deliver talks and conduct workshops. This is particularly important for the teaching of “Local heritage studies’ in the Elective Part; and
- arranging a common time-table for the whole week, with one day or one option block per week designated for the purpose of promoting collaborative learning or professional development among teaching staff.
(c) Evaluating the curriculum
Evaluate the History curriculum continually through collecting data from different sources and analysing evidence of student learning;
Review the curriculum and make adjustments whenever necessary; and
Encourage students to participate actively in class, take responsibility for their own learning process and reflect on it.
(d) Developing resources
Collect, organise and develop a wide range of learning and teaching resources and provide students with easy access to them whenever needed;
Make effective use of school and community resources to facilitate student learning; and
Expand learning and teaching resources by utilising information technology.
(For more ideas about developing learning and teaching resources, please refer to Chapter 6
“Learning and Teaching Resources”.)
(e) Building capacity
Keep abreast of the latest curriculum developments, teaching strategies and subject knowledge; and
Build face to face and electronic networks with other schools and conduct peer lesson observations to foster mutual support.
(f) Managing change and monitoring progress
Teachers should constantly make reference to this Guide to make necessary changes to their schemes of work; and
Options available in the curriculum should be constantly reviewed to ensure that they are in line with student interests, aptitudes and aspirations, and to make their learning process pleasurable.
3.4.2 Roles of different stakeholders
Principals, panel chairpersons, teachers and parents play different roles in the planning, development and implementation of the History curriculum. A collaborative effort is vital for developing and managing the curriculum.
(a) History teachers
Keep abreast of the latest curriculum changes, learning and teaching strategies and assessment practices;
Contribute to curriculum development, implementation and evaluation, and make suggestions with regard to learning, teaching and assessment strategies;
Encourage active learning;
Participate actively in professional development, peer collaboration and professional exchange; and
Participate in educational research and projects in order to promote professional standards.
(b) PSHE KLA co-ordinators /History panel chairpersons
Lead and plan curriculum development in school, and consult and advise the principal on curriculum policy e.g. time-tabling, textbooks, allocation of teaching duties, medium of instruction, mode of assessment and current curriculum innovations.
Monitor the implementation of the curriculum, and make appropriate adjustments in learning, teaching and assessment strategies with due consideration of students’ needs;
Facilitate professional development by encouraging panel members to participate in training courses and workshops;
Hold regular meetings (both formal and informal) with panel members to strengthen
coordination and communication among them with respect to:
- the choice and use of textbooks;
- curriculum innovation and teaching pedagogy, e.g. heritage studies and the use of the enquiry approach;
- cross-curricular issues such as civic education and environmental education, as well as collaboration across subjects within the PSHE KLA.
Promote professional exchange in subject knowledge and learning and teaching strategies within the panel, as well as share good practices with schools of a similar background;
Make the best use of resources available in the school and community.
Understand the significance of history and heritage education;
Take into consideration students’ strengths and needs, the school context and the central curriculum framework in formulating the whole school curriculum and teaching and assessment policies;
Coordinate the work of KLA leaders and subject panels, and set clear targets for curriculum development and management;
Support History panel chairpersons and teachers to promote a culture of collaboration;
Understand the strengths of teachers, and deploy them appropriately to teach the Compulsory and Elective Parts of the curriculum;
Convey a clear message to parents regarding the significance of history and heritage education; and
Build networks among schools, community sectors and various organisations at the management level to facilitate the development of the History curriculum.
Understand the value of history education, and encourage and support their children in enquiry learning;
Support the development of the History curriculum;
Assist students’ life-wide learning in history through, for example, museum visits and heritage tours which link history learning in school with real-life situations; and
Arouse and maintain students’ interest in history through frequent and informal discussions of current issues with historical relevance.
Teachers need to adopt a student-centred teaching style to stimulate students’ interest and motivation, and a range of modes of assessment to assess student learning in all its different aspects. (Please refer to Chapters 4 and 5 for further suggestions on learning, teaching and assessment strategies.)
Chapter 4 Learning and Teaching
This chapter provides guidelines for effective learning and teaching of the History curriculum.
It is to be read in conjunction with Booklet 3 of the Senior Secondary Curriculum Guide (CDC, 2007), which provides the basis for the suggestions set out below.
4.1 Knowledge and Learning
There are a number of different interpretations as to what is meant by historical knowledge.
History is about happenings in the past, including the times, places and people involved; and it is about the records of these happenings, i.e. chronological historical data. It is also about the study of these records, which involves not only the understanding of established and theoretical knowledge, but also interpretations; and historical knowledge in the latter sense is dynamically changing and is always subject to reassessment based on new evidence, insights and interpretations.
History education has tended to focus mainly on the first two meanings above, and traditional history teaching has involved the transmission of facts from teachers or textbooks to students.
However, contemporary history teaching tends to regard the third meaning – the study and interpretation of records - as equally important, if not more important in history education.
Thus history teaching has moved from being lecture-style presentations that focus on transmitting historical facts to interactive lessons involving the construction of knowledge through the process of enquiry and discussion. Teachers take up a variety of roles in their interactions with the students and the curriculum. Their roles change according to the objectives of different activities, but have the same ultimate goal of helping students to become independent and self-directed lifelong learners. History teaching now highlights the importance of:
understanding the meaning and significance of the terms used in the subject;
detecting biased and subjective information;
developing historical imagination and empathy; and
applying historical concepts to solve problems in daily life.
4.2 Guiding Principles
The following are guiding principles for the effective learning and teaching of history:
Building on strengths: Hong Kong classrooms demonstrate many positive features of Chinese students (such as the attribution of academic success to effort, and the social nature of achievement motivation) and of their teachers (such as a strong emphasis on subject disciplines and moral responsibility). These strengths and uniqueness of local students and teachers should be acknowledged and treasured.
Acknowledging prior knowledge and experience: Learning activities should be planned with the prior knowledge and experience of students in mind. Teachers need to find out what students know about a topic before studying it.
Understanding learning objectives: Each learning activity should have clear learning objectives and students should be informed of them at the outset. Teachers should also be clear about the purpose of assignments and explain their significance to students.
Teaching for understanding: The pedagogies chosen should aim at enabling students to understand, think and act on the basis of what they know. To be effective, teachers should have a firm grasp of the key historical concepts to be explored in the senior secondary History curriculum and make it easier for students to understand them by showing their relevance to daily life.
Teaching for independent learning: Generic skills and an ability to reflect should be nurtured through learning activities in appropriate contexts of the curriculum. Students should be encouraged to take the responsibility for their own learning.
Enhancing motivation: Learning is most effective when students are motivated. Various strategies should be used to arouse the interest of students, including constructive feedback. Motivation is closely related to the learning environment and the tasks assigned – a pleasurable learning environment and well-designed tasks make students more motivated to learn.
Effective use of resources: A variety of resources should be employed as tools of learning. Teachers should be aware of the many ways of managing, monitoring and making effective use of resources, both within the school and in the community, to enhance learning and teaching.
Maximising engagement: To keep students actively engaged in learning activities, teachers need to be aware of their students’ interests and aptitudes, and plan activities accordingly.
Aligning assessment with learning and teaching: Feedback and assessment should be used as an integral part of learning and teaching.
Catering for learner diversity: As students have different characteristics and abilities, teachers should employ various strategies to cater for learner diversity, for example by trying to establish a learning community in which students of different abilities support each other’s learning.
4.3 Approaches and Strategies
4.3.1 Adopting a variety of strategies in learning history
Given the wide range of objectives to be achieved in this curriculum, there is no single approach that can satisfy all the requirements. Teachers should therefore adopt a variety of approaches and strategies to suit the content and focuses of learning, and to respond to learners’ different needs. The suggestions made in this Guide are by no means the only approaches/activities for teaching the topics specified in the examples. They are provided for reference only.
The figure on the next page is the basic framework of learning and teaching adopted by the senior secondary History curriculum. It shows the spectrum of approaches available for different purposes. They can be intertwined and complement each other. The examples placed along the spectrum aim to illustrate the more significant learning outcomes that can be achieved, though in fact students may achieve more than one learning target during the same learning process. A learning outcome can also be attained by more than one type of strategy.
The examples below are further elaborated in the appendices.